You see them in your grocery store, gas station, and TV on a near-daily basis, but have you ever stopped to wonder how your favorite candies got their names? No? You just like the way they taste and don’t care that “Pez” is a really weird non-word? Okay, I get that, but why not get to know the history behind your favorite sugar-filled treats just a little better? After all, they’re an everyday part of American life (and probably a significant part of why our health as a society is declining so rapidly).
This one’s pretty simple — Franklin Mars, who founded Mars candy company, created the “Snickers” chocolate bar after his extremely successful Milky Way chocolate bar. “Snickers” was the name of a favorite horse that the Mars family owned, so he just said “f*ck it” (probably), and named the candy bar after a horse. (Hey, it’s a better name for a chocolate bar than “Sea Biscuit”.)
Forrest Mars Sr. went into business with Bruce Murrie, who was the son of Bill Murrie, former president of Hershey’s Chocolate. During World War II, Mars and Murrie began making the candy-coated chocolate treats together, hence the name “M&Ms”. However, after the war ended, Mars pushed Murrie out of the partnership, which is why each candy only has one “M” printed on it.
F. Hoffman & Company of Chicago set out to make chocolate covered-caramel treats that were perfectly round in 1926, but the manufacturing equipment couldn’t produce the perfectly round shape the company wanted. One worker called these oddly shaped chocolates “duds”. They still tasted good, though, so the company said “f*ck it” (again, probably), and produced them despite their imperfections, giving them the name “Milk Duds”.
When the 3 Musketeers bar was introduced in 1932, it had three different flavors: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, hence the name “3 Musketeers”. But thanks to wartime rationing, it was difficult to get the vanilla and strawberry flavorings. So the company replaced the three flavors with one all-chocolate flavored bar, and decided to keep the name despite it’s total lack of meaning.
PEZ was initially created to be a breath mint for smokers. They were invented by a German and the name comes from “pfefferminz”, the German word for peppermint. The first PEZ dispensers were called “Box Regulars” and were shaped like cigarette lighters (to lure in all those smokers). The Box Regulars included notes encouraging smokers to quit. In the 1950s, people were still smoking despite their adorable little notes, and PEZ decided to break into the US market. The company re-branded and came out with fruity flavors and dispensers that would appeal to kids.
The Curtiss Candy Company had a bar called “Kandy Kake” that wasn’t doing so hot, so they reshaped it and and called it the “Baby Ruth” bar. According to the company, this name had NOTHING to do with Babe Ruth, who was baseball’s top star at the time, instead claiming that the name was in honor of President Grover Cleveland’s deceased daughter, Ruth. (Ummm, what?!) Apparently that excuse worked in court, and we still enjoy the candy bars that still hasn’t paid one cent to Babe Ruth to this day!
Which candy’s name history did you find mildly interesting? Let us know on Twitter @Smosh!